Primorsko: Walk to the mouth of Ropotamo river

Ropotamo Reserve is located near the town of Primorsko, Bulgаria and has the same name like the passing river. It is part of the larger protected area Ropotamo Ramsar. In addition to the variety of animal and plant species, you can also see many other interesting and rare objects: rock formations, archaeological monuments, the Ropotamo river basin, the marsh with the European white water lilies, etc. In this part of our site I will introduce you the eco path reaching the mouth of the Ropotamo river.

How to reach the mouth of the Ropotamo River near the town of Primorsko – map, route and GPX file  
Download GPX file

To reach the area of the Ropotamo Reserve, enter the town of Primorsko. After that you have to go to the North Beach of Primorsko. From there the road continues in north direction, passing round the deserted Perla residence.

The Noth beach of Primorsko and the Perla Residence in the distance

Shortly after the exit to the thracian cliffs – sanctuary of Beglik Tash you will reach a lowered barrier:

Ropotamo Reserve – the entrance barrier, which prevents a car entry

The distance from the North beach of Primorsko to the barrier is about 4.2 km and it is preferable to take it by car, or bike considering that the road is asphalted. The pedestrian route to the mouth of the river is about 2 km and height difference 85 m. Considering that from there to the mouth of Ropotamo, the road is wide and asphalted – no special clothing and shoes are required. It would be enough to take water and photo camera with you.

Protection of the Ropotamo Reserve

From the lowered barrier is the entry into the reserve, and that requires the observance of certain rules: forbidden fire, camping, plant cutting, passage on unmarked paths, disturbing of wild animals , etc. More information about other bans and activity mode can be read (in Bulgarian language) on the placed signs in the reserve.


One of the signs with map and the rules that should be observed on the territory of the Reserve

The beautiful nature of Primorsko – reserve Ropotamo

The forest is very beautiful consisting of deciduous trees – mainly Italian oak (Quercus frainetto), virgil’s oak (Querceta virgiliana) and pubescent oak (Quercus pubescens). You can hear the song of many birds, and sometimes you can meet deers on the road, which is an extra chance to take interesting photos. On the way to the mouth you will pass by an exit leading to another interesting place – the wild bay “St. Paraskeva”. That is another way to reach it, different than the path starting from the thracian cliffs – sanctuary Beglik Tash.

The asphalt road leading to the mouth of the Ropotamo River
View to the deciduous forest

You will soon reach the estuary. The two banks of the river are covered with natural dense forests. There arealso sand dunes, and many rocks rising from the sea. These rocks gave the name of the cape – Skombolitos, coming from the Greek words ” κομπολ ” and ” λιθος “, respectively „rosary“ and „stone“, and in translation there is a “rosary of rocks”. Among them, the most striking is the rock sponge in front of the mouth, which is also the end point for boat trips along the river.

The mouth of Ropotamo and fishing boat, that goes in the sea
The rock sponge in the right corner of the photo at the mouth of the river

Numerous rising rocks, gave the name of the cape Skombolitos
Map of the coast round the mouth of Ropotamo river.

Fishing activity near the estuary

In autumn or spring, many fishing boats come from the near towns: Primorsko, Sozopol, Bourgas and Pomorie. They stop at the mouths of the river but throw cast nets in the nearby Kendinar Bay. That bay in their words was very rich in fish, but it hazards because the bay is opened in the northern quarter and is dangerous to the craft. The name Kendinar originates from Greek word for danger – κινδυνος. 

Fishing boats moored at the eastuary of Ropotamo river in the autumn

The fishers made also fish traps (in bulgarian – “dalyan” ) between the estuary and Cape St. Dimitar. They use them to catch the coastal fish passages.

Fishing boats nearby the fishing traps
Pulling the nets from the fish trap (“dalyan”)

It’s better to know that wild bays Kendinar, Vaterachi, Kalamitsi, Jack Fersine, Fluru and Cape Korakya are forbidden to be visited by land. There are no marked and allowed paths for reaching them. Can only be watched from the sea.

Historical note

In the antiquity at this place there was a large port complex named “Hersonessos”. The complex included all the bays on the peninsula from the mouth of the river to the Cape “Maslen nos”. From the mouth of Ropotamo river to Cape St. Dimitar on the sea bottom with the help of divers were found many clay vessels and anchors since the late antiquity till the Middle Ages, which are now in the museums of Primorsko and Varna. In the Middle Ages, the harbor was named “Orispotamo”, (in greek ορισ ποταμό) which translation is the “Border River” and is related to the border between Bulgaria and Byzantium that was passing through these lands. That name subsequently changed to Ropotamo . According to experts, the rise of the sea level, the impact of the surf and the falling of coast had led to the sinking of the port in the later medieval centuries. After this period the place deserted and became wild.

Continue the walk

For the other paths and landmarks in Ropotamo Reserve – look at the attached here map.

If you are planning a longer stay in the area, it is a good idea to choose Primorsko as a city for staying. It has many hotels and lodgings, and can offer many entertainments to diversify your holliday at the sea.

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